Kathleen Wynne blew it – and now Ontario is heading to the polls on June 12 for an early election. Our first question: what does this mean for the animals?
Scandal after scandal rocked the Ontario Liberal Party, reducing them to a minority in the last election and held afloat largely by NDP support in the budget process.
The Ontario Liberals have not done much for animals in the province – and taken two steps directly against them. First was the Breed Specific Legislation put in place in 2005, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of “pit bull” type dogs and has caused massive emotional trauma to hundreds of thousands of dog lovers. Despite a strong outcry against this legislation – and private members bills focused on revamping it – it has carried forward.
More recently, of course, was the reintroduction of a spring bear hunt. The hunt was originally discontinued in 1999 after it was learned that hundreds of bear cubs were being orphaned as a result of the program. The government has launched a pilot project of the hunt – now underway – in response to “public safety concerns” and “increased” nuisance calls about bears in Northern Ontario. This rushed program is in spite of the fact that their own documents and scientists proved no connection between a spring bear hunt and nuisance issues.
Despite this disturbing trend of killing animals they don’t like, are the other parties – namely the NDP and Progressive Conservatives – any better?
Wildlife and animal welfare are not campaign issues that get much – if any – attention in the media. We can’t know what the other parties will plan in regards to BSL, the spring bear hunt, trapping regulations, the fur trade, or anything else that matters to us.
But we can ask – and we think you should, too.
In the coming weeks, nominations will be made and candidates will begin knocking on doors. Find your local candidates and tell them that animal welfare is important to you – and your choice at the ballot box. Tell them that the history of abuse, misinformation and neglect for animals in this province cannot go forward. And tell them they have a chance to make it right.
Regardless of what party or candidates you choose to support, make sure you get out and vote – because you can’t complain if you didn’t take an opportunity to have your voice heard.